Average travel job salary increases but executive pay falls steeply

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A mixed picture has emerged over the state of travel industry pay in the UK last year.

While the average new job salary in the industry rose by 1.46% or £362 to £25,172 over 2014, with an increase in salaries for standard positions, executive pay fell dramatically.

New standard travel jobs came with a wage of £20,741, up 5.27%, following a dip of 1.03% in 2014 and a rise of 3.21% in the previous year.

But average executive pay fell by 8.77% to £53,295 – the first fall in five years. This followed a weak late summer and autumn period for the executive sector, according to calculations made by C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

Travel wages rose faster in the south of the country than in the north for the first time in four years.

Salaries rose by 3.40% in the south to an average of £26,549 compared to a 1.14% rise to £21,900 in the north.

This resulted in the pay gap between the two areas widening to £4,649 after narrowing from £5,251 in 2012 to £4,234 in 2014.

Both the number of new roles and candidates remained relatively static in 2015.

Vacancies increased by 2.27% in the year to the second highest level this decade after falling by 3.30% in 2014.

However, the number of people looking for a new job in travel fell by 3.24% in 2015 following a 1.42% decrease in the previous year.

Barbara Kolosinska, director at C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment, said: “With a 1.46% annual increase, travel wages have now risen to their highest point since at least 2009 with no indication that we have peaked yet.

“The situation is even better for anyone looking for or working in a standard job in the travel industry, as these positions saw a 5.27% salary increase in 2015.

“This shows that some companies in the industry are certainly willing to pay the right price for the right candidate.

“However, it was a much weaker year for executive positions with salaries falling heavily.

“Although there was no decrease in the number of senior roles being made available, many companies took longer to commit to a hiring decision in 2015, leading to an overall dip in activity in executive recruitment. Luckily, 2016 has already got off to a very strong start.”

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